Thursday, July 5, 2012

How to Run in a Heatwave

It's hot outside, folks!  ...and it has been for over a week.  The DC area has had near record breaking heat for over a week now.  Yuck.  You know when you check on something baking in an oven and you feel that extreme heat coming at you?  ...or when you've got a pot on the stove and you have your hand a little too close while you're stirring?  That's what it feels like when I go outside midday.

I've continued to train through the heat.  In previous years, I would've brought my workouts indoors, but for the Ironman, I've decided to keep it all outside.  Louisville is known to be a hot and humid destination for the race, and I wouldn't be shocked if it was at least 90 degrees on race day.  None of the three legs of the race are easy in heat like this.  You'd think swimming would be refreshing, but at the outdoor pool was so warm that I felt like I was swimming in a hot tub.  At least with biking you have a little bit of self created wind.  Running is by far the hardest to do in this kind of heat.  So far this week, I've run 4 times ranging in 30 minutes to 2 hours and 15 minutes.  So for everyone out there who either A) thinks I'm crazy for running outside on days where the low is in the 80s or B) wants to train for an insanely hot and humid race, I have made a list of several suggestions for running when it feels like fire outside.  


1.  SET AN ALARM--While 80 degrees with 100% is no walk in the park, if you plan on running for any extended period of time, this temperature will be wonderful compared to the high 80s or low 90s you could experience by 9:00AM.  Trust me, waking up at 5AM will be worth your while!

2.  WEAR AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE--I tend to wear shorts and a sports bra.  Guys, go shirtless... UNLESS you are THAT hairy.  In which case, shave or wax yourself and then you can go shirtless.  

3.  COVER YOURSELF IN GLIDE--You can't go around half naked in a hot and sticky environment without also covering yourself in anti-chafing product.  No matter how much you weigh (this dispels the myth of chub-rub), anywhere that skin has a possibility of contacting anything more than once on your run must be covered in Glide stick.  This is true for all weather, but exacerbated in the heat.  Brian came home the other day with chaffed armpits--imagine walking around with that for a few days!

4.  PILE ON THE SUNSCREEN--Don't think that just because you're running super early that you won't get crispy!  That sun is HOT.  

5.  LEAVE YOUR GPS WATCH AT HOME--I don't care that your training plan wants you to run 10 miles at a 7:17min/mi pace.  Get out there and run for about how long it takes you to run 10 miles on a normal day and don't worry about how far you're going.  For crying out loud, your hear will explode trying to go your normal pace!

6.  BRING A WATER BOTTLE--I don't care if you're going on a 20 minute run.  YOU WILL NEED WATER!  In the winter I could go for forever without even taking a sip of water, but on my runs this week, I couldn't go a block without a big gulp of water.

7.  RUN WHERE THERE ARE WATER FOUNTAINS--Unless you're going to take a cooler full of water bottles with you, you're not going to make it long without a place to refill your bottles.  Nevermind the fact that your water bottle is going be boiling after 10 minutes, you WILL run out of water if you don't plan ahead.  Fortunately for DC citizens, we have tons of them down at the National Mall.  If you can only think of one water fountain in your area, just expect to do laps!

8. THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS--No matter how hot you feel while you're running, stay your pace and keep going, it will be over soon!  Maybe you need to think about the nice meal waiting for you, or how how amazing you're going to do in your upcoming race.  Whatever it is you need to think about, you'll need to hold on to that thought because you're in for a real rough run.  HAPPY RUNNING!

1 comment:

  1. Exactly my thought process on training in the heat - Louisville will NOT be cold. Got to acclimate.

    I found that this morning, it almost felt ok at 81 F because I'm so used to the run portion of my long weekend bricks happening at 95+ F. A positive of this? Maybe?